Fly Patterns For Brook Trout

Fishing - Fly Patterns For Brook Trout

Brook trout are members of the salmon family and can be found throughout New England and Alaska.

They are opportunistic feeders, feeding on a variety of insects. Additionally, they consume small fish and crayfish.

These species of beaver are native to the wild and can be found in a variety of habitats, such as headwater spring ponds, spring-fed streams, and ponds with either gravel or sand bottoms.

Royal Coachman Fly
Royal Coachman Fly

Royal Coachman

Brook trout are small, cold-water fish that typically inhabits tributaries of larger rivers. You can find brookies in backyard brooks, small ponds, and even rivers near your home.

The Royal Coachman is a reliable dry fly pattern for brook trout. This classic design features a peacock herl body with a red band, white wing, and brown hackle.

G. P. R. Pullman of London first described this fly in 1850, and Charles F. Orvis’ Fishing with the Fly ‘1883 and Mary Orvis Marbury’s Favorite Flies ‘1892 listed it among the top 30 patterns featuring floss and herl in their bodies.

This classic dry fly is one of the most effective in trout fishing and should be in every angler’s fly box. It is easily seen, durable, and versatile enough to catch all trout species. This pattern works great as part of a double dry setup with an Adams Parachute or any other trout fly you prefer using.

Bunny Leech Fly
Bunny Leech Fly

Bunny Leech

Trout often turn to leech fly patterns for energy during long fishing sessions, whether they need a quick snack or something nutritious to sustain them through the day. That is why having an array of leech fly patterns available during your next fly fishing excursion is so important.

Leeches are an essential food source for trout throughout the fishing season. Also, leaches are easy to catch, giving anglers a unique chance to connect with some serious fish.

They make excellent attractants and can be combined with other hatching insects like BWOs, PMDs, or midges – especially during the spring and fall when other insects may be scarce.

The Bunny Leech is an effective dry fly pattern for brook trout, even in slower-moving waters. You can fish it several ways – dead drifting or swinging, depending on conditions – depending on its versatility. This versatile pattern works well on various trout species and at all times of the year.

Elk Hair Caddis Fly
Elk Hair Caddis Fly

Elk Hair Caddis

The Elk Hair Caddis is one of the most successful dry flies for brook trout. This pattern imitates caddisflies of all shapes and sizes, so they can be fished using various tactics.

Al Troth of Pennsylvania created this iconic dry fly pattern to imitate caddis wings. Since then, it’s become a highly versatile pattern that can be tied to replicating various caddis and stoneflies.

Its thick elk hair wings and hackle body protect it from being dragged down in fast-flowing rivers. When twitched on the surface, this causes a disturbance on the water’s surface that could attract strikes from many types of trout.

The Elk Hair Caddis is highly buoyant, making it an ideal strike indicator. Team it up with a small nymph like a Beaded Pheasant Tail or size 22-16 Beaded Copper John for an irresistible combination to attract brook trout.

Micro Marabou Leech Fly
Micro Marabou Leech Fly

Micro Marabou Leech

Leeches are an important food source for trout during cold seasons. These aquatic insects remain plentiful year-round, providing trout with a reliable source of nutrition when other insect populations decline.

They are known for reducing swelling and promoting healing, which can benefit trout during rough weather conditions. Their sensitive eyesight makes them active in deeper waters during the daytime and shallower waters at night.

The Micro Marabou Leech is an adaptable dry fly pattern designed to imitate leech behavior in various settings. This fly can be dead drifted or swung as a nymph, and it also trails behind larger streamers using a strip retrieve technique.

This micro-sized leech pattern works well in still waters, freestone rivers, and tailwaters. It can be retrieved like a streamer with varying speeds or dead drifted along drop-offs to simulate the swimming motion of a leech. This fly can also be tied on as a jerk strip for a more natural presentation.

Ice Cream Cone Fly
Ice Cream Cone Fly

Ice Cream Cone

The Ice Cream Cone is a highly productive dry fly pattern for brook trout. As its name implies, this fly works well in still waters and streams. You can fish it as an opportunistic hopper fly or, if you prefer floating techniques, use it spooled up in your line as an intermediate sinking fly beneath a larger dry.

This pattern’s standout feature is the bead-blasted tinsel, which may not be an entirely novel concept but certainly represents the cutting edge in dry fly technology. A bead-blasted tinsel (or tinsel for short) is simply a fancy bit of fluorocarbon threaded through the bend of a dry fly hook and is highly effective yet lightweight when presented to hungry brook trout.

This pattern can be tied in sizes 10-18 on either a long-shank or scud fly, making it the ideal addition to a well-stocked Still water and an economical option for anglers who can’t justify dredging.

Prince Nymph Fly
Prince Nymph Fly

Prince Nymph

Brook trout are a sought-after target for many anglers due to their small size and ability to be caught in various habitats, from mountain streams to tailwaters.

The Prince Nymph is one of brook trout’s most productive dry flies. You can use it as a point fly in your Euro nymph rig or a top fly on a dropper rig.

This general attractor pattern is ideal for most conditions and seasons. It could even be the lead fly in a dual dropper rig setup.

Doug Prince created the Prince Nymph (or Brown Forked Tail) in 1941, and it has been used successfully to fool trout everywhere, from Kings River, California, to rivers around the world ever since.

The Prince Nymph is an excellent general attractor pattern that can be tied in a range of colors to imitate various insects like stoneflies, mayflies, and midges. It should be included in every fly fisherman’s arsenal.

Zebra Midge Fly
Zebra Midge Fly

Zebra Midge

The Zebra Midge is one of the most successful dry flies for brook trout. This classic pattern imitates various aquatic insects, such as larvae, pupae, and emergers.

Midges are an abundant and common aquatic insect, hatching year-round in most freshwater bodies. Due to their tolerance to temperature and oxygen levels in the water, midges can complete their life cycle in less than four weeks.

Fishing for midge flies on rivers during winter can be a great way to catch trout, as they are hardy creatures that survive cold temperatures and remain a staple in trout diets throughout this time. Therefore, if you aren’t fishing a midge fly on your next fishing expedition, you could miss out on an excellent chance at catching some big fish!

Begin fishing a midge by nymphing with two flies: place one at the bottom and another 14-18 inches above. Insert a midge larva in the bottom fly and pupa on the top fly – this setup helps dredge the bottom and get your flies down quickly.

Brassie fly
Brassie fly


I have observed that trout absorb much information about their environment and always learn. This knowledge allows them to navigate waters in native mountain streams for food, shelter, and water filtration.

Although this theme is common among fish of all species, it becomes particularly evident during winter. Stream temperatures flow, and insect activity shapes the environment for brookies to ensure they thrive.

To cope with this changing environment, they require a variety of stimuli to stay happy and healthy during wintertime.

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